Skip to content

He’s back: Kovalev signs with Panthers — one year, $1 million

Jan 18, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT

Kovalev_Alex

After a one-year hiatus, Alexei Kovalev is back in the NHL.

That’s the story out of Sunrise on Thursday as the Florida Panthers announced they’ve signed the soon-to-be-40-year-old to a one-year deal.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the contract is for $1 million and includes some games-played bonuses.

Kovalev — who’ll turn 40 on Feb. 24 — hasn’t played in North America since skating with Pittsburgh during the 2010-11 season.

He returned to his native Russia for the 2011-12 season, playing 22 games with Atlant Moscow Oblast before suffering a knee injury that derailed his campaign.

Kovalev spent the summer and lockout without a team, focusing on rehab and getting healthy, though he did practice with Swiss second division team Martigny for a spell.

The former Ranger, Penguin, Canadien and Senator has some ties to the Panthers organization. He played with goalie Jose Theodore in Montreal and spent a season with Filip Kuba in Ottawa.

According to Harvey Fialkov of the Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kovalev has been skating on the Panthers’ second line along with Peter Mueller, and is working on the Panthers’ second power-play unit with Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Huberdeau.

Latest Posts
  1. Sharks hire Boughner, Hedberg as DeBoer’s assistants

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Windsor Spitfires v Niagara Ice Dogs Getty Images

    Boughner coached against DeBoer in the OHL, Hedberg played for him in New Jersey.

  2. Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four Getty Images

    Former Hart Trophy winner announced his retirement on Thursday.

  3. Discuss: Where’s the best fit for Alex Semin?

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:35 PM EDT

    Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Pittsburgh? Florida? New Jersey? KHL?

  4. Caps landing ‘affordable’ Williams a sign of the new free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT

    Justin Williams Getty Images

    “At some point Justin became more affordable to us, and we started to lean his way.”

  5. Kassian vows to give it all for Habs: ‘As you grow older, you mature’

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Zack Kassian Getty Images

    “At the end of the day, nobody wants to get traded two times. But it’s a learning curve.”

  6. Shattenkirk’s agent downplays trade rumors

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Kevin Shattenkirk AP

    But reports suggest Edmonton, Columbus and Philly are interested.

  7. Preds re-sign Bourque: one year, $866,250

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT

    gabrielbourquegetty Getty Images

    24-year-old has appeared in 220 NHL contests, all with Nashville.

  8. Shots fired! ‘Canes owner Karmanos rips into Jim Rutherford (Updated)

    Jul 2, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    Hurricanes Front Office Shakeup Hockey AP

    Yes, the same Jim Rutherford who was the GM in Carolina for two decades.

  9. Worlds helped convince Eichel to go pro

    Jul 2, 2015, 9:53 AM EDT

    IHOCKEY-WORLD-USA-SVK Getty Images

    He didn’t want to make his intentions known until he was drafted.

  10. Wright signs with Islanders after campaign in KHL

    Jul 2, 2015, 8:56 AM EDT

    James Wright Getty Images

    He was playing with the Winnipeg Jets before heading to Croatia.

  11. Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:43 AM EDT

    st.louis Getty Images

    Some interesting players still need deals.

  12. PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker

    Jul 1, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    All the signings from what promises to be a busy day.

  13. Habs sign Barberio to a one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    Mark Barberio Mark Barberio

    The contract pays the 25-year-old $600,000.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2473)
  2. D. Hamilton (2445)
  3. C. Talbot (2022)
  4. S. Gagner (1958)
  5. R. O'Reilly (1933)
  1. E. Etem (1764)
  2. A. Niemi (1758)
  3. R. Lehner (1697)
  4. M. Lucic (1621)
  5. C. Pronger (1602)